I have to admit that even though they’ve been around for decades, I had no idea the potential value of these funny little candy dispensers. Vintage and rare Pez dispensers routinely sell for hundreds of dollars, and believe it or not the rarest dispensers have sold for thousands. Although you might not see many of them at estate sales, keep an eye out at garage sales and yard sales.
Hello Kitty Pez dispensers can be found at garage sales.
What is a Pez Dispenser?
Most people are familiar with Pez candy and the fun dispensers they come in, similar to the one pictured above. The original dispensers made in the 40s and 50s were designed to look like a lighter and held mints which were promoted to help stop smoking. In the mid-50s PEZ began marketing the sweeter candy to children and featuring the character heads we are more familiar with, as well as other unique shapes such as a laser gun.
What is a Vintage Pez Dispenser Worth?
Vintage dispensers (especially if they’re in original packaging) often sell in the $100-$200 range on eBay, and some rare dispensers have sold for up to $500. The PEZ company website has a photographic history of their dispensers, so you may want to make yourself familiar with the vintage designs that may fetch a higher price from collectors. Go to their Collector’s Corner and click on “Dispenser Archive by Year.”
Look for Pez dispensers at garage sales, like this one shaped like Santa.
Dispensers are considered “rare” usually because a very small number of them were produced, and sometimes made for a particular event. According to this eBay article, some of the rarest dispensers include the Mickey Mouse Softhead, the 1982 World’s Fair, and the Political Donkey and Elephant, and they can sell for thousands of dollars. Recently a rare green-eyed cow sold on eBay for $950.
Finding Vintage Pez Dispensers
Garage sales and yard sales are great places to look for vintage Pez dispensers. Check out tables or boxes with plastic toys, and don’t be afraid to dig around a little. Watch especially for dispensers still in their original packaging. You can search on eBay for the type of dispenser and look for recent sales in your area to determine its value.
Even if you don’t buy dispensers to resell, you might find yourself collecting them for fun.
Donna Davis has over twenty years of experience in the antiques and estate sale business, and conducts sales every weekend in the Greater Atlanta Area. She is also the Founder and Director of the National Association of Estate Liquidators, and Lead Instructor of NAOEL’s online school.